Ashwathama Reddy, President, TSRTC Joint Action (File Photo/ANI)
Ashwathama Reddy, President, TSRTC Joint Action (File Photo/ANI)

Telangana RTC employees strike enters 13th day, Left parties join protest

ANI | Updated: Oct 17, 2019 18:26 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Oct 17 (ANI): As the ongoing strike by employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) entered its 13th day on Thursday, Left parties and some professors joined it in solidarity with the employees.
Speaking to ANI Ashwathama Reddy, RTC, Joint Action Committee President said: "Today is the 13 day of our strike. We are ready to talk on the issue but the Chief Minister is not considering our request. After High Court ordered to conduct talks about the issue, but the Chief Minister is not obeying the orders. The court is observing his concern. There are ongoing protests and rallies all over the state at all the depots."
More than 49,000 workers have been on strike since October 5, demanding the merger of the RTC with the government.
"This struggle is not only for RTC employees salaries and allowance, but this struggle is also to preserve the public character and the public transport because public transport plays an important role in the economy," said Professor K Nageshwar an activist.
He continued, "Today RTC is having annual losses of Rs 720 crores but RTC in return pays Rs 740 crores of tax to Telangana state government. Is it right to tax public transport? Today illegal private transport is thriving at the cost of public-owned RTC".
"Court has asked the government to conduct talks, but the state government is violating the order of the court, it becomes a contempt of court. In a democratic society, the governments are duly bound to hold talks on the issues because this is an issue between Telangana and crores of people and not only workers. So what prevents the government from talking to the people?" he asked.
According to sources, the state government is set to form a committee including ministers and officials as per the directions of the High Court, to hold talks with the RTC unions.
Chada Venkat Reddy, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader, speaking to ANI said: "Leaders of the left parties and professors have joined the agitation at Dharna Chowk. I would like to tell that 13 days have passed but the Chief Minister has not yet called for any meeting. This is not right. Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao must remember that he belongs to a democracy."
"Immediately a meeting must be called or else the call for Bandh on October 19 will be successful by the support of all societies and communities," he added.
The workers are protesting against the state government's order to sack over 40,000 employees of TSRTC. (ANI)